Happy New Year, everyone! It’s officially 2016 now, and here’s hoping all my blog readers have a beautiful year ahead!
Now that I’ve finally put away all my wrapping paper, bows, packing tape, and holiday cards, and we’ve all survived the Nonstop Fun Ride O Family and Friends that is December, I’m back to writing again — fueled by cups of hot coffee and free music on YouTube.
I must also admit that writing is far more fun than contemplating my finances, which is always a bit hazardous after the holidays.
My first day of January 2016 turned out to be kind of strange. In a bit of a scary way, which often turns into humor, or grace, or at least something interesting. So I thought I’d tell you about it, for all of my readers who also greeted the New Year with a bit of scary today. It’s nice to know we have company when things get weird.
This story starts with a gift. For Christmas this year, my mom bought me a present — a long-sleeve black shirt with a Christmas print of a nighttime city-scape. But when I tried the shirt on, the material swamped me, and when I checked the tag, I discovered the shirt was an extra large. Since I buy smalls and mediums these days, an extra large was just too much fabric for me. My mom was really sad the shirt didn’t fit, but she’d provided a gift receipt, and assured me I could exchange it for another.
The shirt came from Christopher & Banks, which isn’t a store I’ve ever shopped at before, but I went in today to make an exchange.
A half hour later, I found a cream turtleneck in a size small, and it did fit, perfectly.
When I looked at myself in the super-bright store light, in the huge mirror of the changing room, I discovered I have a lump in my breast. The thin material of the turtleneck made the lump super obvious.
I did what most people would do when confronted with a large lump in a body part while standing in a retail store changing room — I stared at it for a few seconds, wondering, “What the heck?” Then I inspected the lump with my fingers, and discovered it’s not fleshy tissue, but a bone cyst.
Some people get bone cysts. I have one on my right leg, on my shin bone. Have had it for ages.
Now I have one on my chest, on the side of my sternum. I have a rather knobby skeleton, and I do have distinct knobs on both sides of my sternum– now one side is just bigger than the other.
There aren’t always reasons for bone cysts. But in this case, I think this one was caused by a car accident. In 2010, a man lost control of his truck, crossed the center line, and hit me head on. It was not my best moment. I had two passengers with me, writer friends, and we were all hurt. My bone cyst sits in the exact place where the seatbelt crossed my chest.
I’m also not quite the same size I was in 2010. On my torso, overall, my bones show a bit more. So couple a bone cyst with a more skeletal look, and voilà — you have me in a store, realizing I cannot buy a cream turtleneck unless I want to show off My Sexy Lump, which is really to say a bone cyst in your boob is not sexy at all, it’s rather scary, and I ended up trading in the extra large shirt for a scarf, which requires no changing room to try on.
In my sci-fi novel, Mark of the Pterren (which I’m finishing the final proofread for right now), a character named Lincoln suffers a bone cyst in his wing. (Actually, this is in the second book in the series, sorry. Small spoiler alert!) I wrote the second pterren book in order to revise the first novel, and now I’m glad I gave Lincoln such a horrific injury that he ends up with a Bone Cyst From Hell. Poor guy has to have his removed, or he can’t fly again, and that is a godawful surgery to go through if you’re a pterren.
As to my current writing project, I’m working on a vampire novel right now. And I LOVE IT.
There is a dryad named Chuppi in this story. Dryads are tree nymphs, and I like this picture of a dryad a lot —
Isn’t she lovely? I hope Chuppi gets a speaking part in my novel — I use this picture as inspiration for my subconscious mind, hoping I can figure out a way to give Chuppi a role in Act II and III of this book.
My working title for this novel is called Hymns for a Goddess but I know that won’t be the final book title. There is a lot of religion and magic in this story, a lot of action and plot. I’m hoping to share my first chapter soon. Once this book is finished, I can turn my attention back to my mer story (merpeople story). And I’m really excited to write Draft Two of that book.
In the meantime, there is coffee and music, and recovering from holiday shopping —
And if you had something scary greet you in these opening hours of 2016, then I send you my warmest thoughts and prayers, my compassion and love, for the humor and grace to overcome fear. I have great faith that 2016 will be a beautiful year. Full of failures and trials, wonder and pain, adventures and gifts. And gratitude. Gratitude to be here right now, alive on this planet, with you.
So keep that superhero cape tied into place round your neck — because big things are coming — a whole new year of big things — 2016 has arrived, here we go!